Hôtel des Invalide, Paris

PARIS — Hôtel des Invalides — Entrée Principale
Publisher: “J. H.”
On the back are stamps from the French Red Cross & the Musée de l’Armée

Google Street View.

The Hôtel des Invalides was commissioned in 1670 by Louis XIV in order to provide accommodation and hospital care for wounded soldiers. In 1815, after Napoleon’s abdication, over 5,000 survivors of the Great Army were listed there. Napoleon inspected the place and visited his men in 1808, 1813 and 1815. The chapel of the Invalides was built at the end of the 17th century by Jules-Hardouin Mansart and contains Napoleon’s tomb. In 1840, during the ‘Return of the Ashes’, a law passed on 10th June ordered the construction of the Emperor’s tomb below the dome of the Invalides.

Under the authority of Louis XIV, the architect Jules Hardouin-Mansart had the Invalides’ royal chapel built from 1677 onwards. The Dome was Paris’ tallest building until the Eiffel Tower was erected. The many gilded decorations remind us of the Sun King, who issued an edict ordering the Hôtel des Invalides to be built for his army’s veterans. During the Revolution, the Dome became the temple of the god Mars. In 1800, Napoleon I decided to place Turenne’s tomb there and turned the building into a pantheon of military glories.

In 1840, Napoleon had been buried on Saint Helena Island since 1821, and King Louis-Philippe decided to have his remains transferred to Les Invalides in Paris. In order to fit the imperial tomb inside the Dome, the architect Visconti carried out major excavation work. The body of the Emperor Napoleon I was finally laid to rest there on 2 April 1861.
Musée de l’Armée

PARIS — Hôtel des Invalides
Chapelle du Dôme et Tombeau de Napoléon
Le tombeau en granit rouge de Finlande présent de l’Empereur Nicolas de Russie. 12 figures colossales de Pradier, representant les victories of Napoleon, entourent le sarcophage. Hauteur 5m. ? 5 1/4 drapeaux, pris à Austrerlitz entourant thé monument. Le pourtour est en marbre blanc.
]The tomb if of red granite from Finland presented by Emperor Nicolas of Russia. 12 colossal figures, representing the victories of Napoleon surround the sarcophagus. Height 5m. ? flags, taken in Austerliz, surround the monument. The outer edge is white marble]
Publisher: “J. H.”

Google Street View.

The Dôme des Invalides (originally Chapelle royale des Invalides) is a large former church in the centre of the Les Invalides complex, 107 metres (351 ft) high. The dôme was designated to become Napoleon’s funeral place by a law dated 10 June 1840. Ousted in 1815 by the allied armies, Napoleon had stayed so popular in France that Louis-Philippe, the King of France from 1830 to 1848, returned his “ashes” in 1840. (His “ashes” mean his “mortal remains”; Napoleon was not cremated). The excavation and erection of the crypt, which heavily modified the interior of the domed church, took twenty years to complete and was finished in 1861. The Dôme des Invalides (originally Chapelle royale des Invalides) is a large former church in the centre of the Les Invalides complex, 107 metres (351 ft) high.

An immense circular crypt has been dug beneath the dome, within which, on three shafts of green marble, the sarcophagus containing the emperor’s coffin will repose. The block of porphyry which the curious are now flocking to see on the Quai d’Orsay is destined to cover the sarcophagus. A lower gallery, paved in mosaics and lined with marble bas-reliefs, representing the principal events in the Emperor’s life, will admit the public to circulate about the sarcophagus. Twelve colossal statues in white marble–of which six are already placed–will sustain an upper gallery, whence it may be looked down on and its details examined from above. These allegorical statues, from the chisel of Pradier, represent the principal branches of human activity–Science, Legislation, War, Arts, &c. A magnificent altar of black marble veined with white rises in front of the tomb. Four large and beautiful columns, also of black and white marble, support the canopy of carted and gilt wood. Ten broad steps, each cut from a single block of Carrara marble, lead up to the funeral altar. Beneath this altar is the passage to the lower gallery above spoken of, whose entrance is guarded on either side by the tombs, in black marble, of Bertrand and Duroe–dead marshals keeping wait at the door of the imperial dead. The marbles employed in the construction of this tomb cost not less than a million and a half (£60,000) in the rough;–the sculptures and bas-reliefs executed by Simart cost 600,000 francs (£24,000.) The block of porphyry for the covering of the sarcophagus weighs 45,000 kilogrammes : its extraction and carriage to Paris cost 140,000 francs (£5 600.) It comes from the shore of Lake Onega. Between the tombs of Bertrand and Duroe a shrine will be erected to receive the sword of Austerlilz, the Imperial Crown, and eighty standards captured under the Empire.
(Hobart) Courier, 14 July 1849

PARIS — Hôtel des Invalides — Le Tombeau de Napoléon I
La Crypte – Sarcophage de Napoléon I — Au centre de la Crypte se dresse le sarcpohage posé sur un socle de granit vert des Vosges. Aucune sculpture inutile n’en dépare la sévere et majestesueuse simplicité. Le corps de l’Empereur, revetu de l’uniforme de chasseurs de la Vicille Garde, est renfermé la dans 6 enveloppes.
[The Crypt — Sarcophagus of Napoleon I — In the centre of the Crypt stands the sarcophagus on a base of green granite from Vosges. No unnescessary sculpture detracts from the severe and majestic simplicity. The body of the Emperor, dressed in the uniform of the Vicille Garde, is enclosed within 6 containers. ]
On the back are stamps from the French Red Cross & the Musée de l’Armée
Handwritten on the back:
Given by Russia to France as a tribute to the Great Napoleon. Casket containing Napoleon’s body He lies with his favorite military dress on with his sword & cap by his side. His wish was for his body to lie on the banks of the River Seine & this has been carried out.

PARIS. — Hôtel des Invalides — Chapelle Napoleon
Le moulage de la téte de l’Empereur Napoléon, Cénotaphe de Cherbourg, la Couronne d’or; dans le fond le poêle funéraire.
Publisher: “J. H.”

Death mask, golden crown & funeral shroud

Musee Saint-Loup, Troyes, France

Troyes — Le Musée — Salle de Sculpture
[The Museum — Room of Sculpture]
Postmarked 1922
Publiser: Maison des Magasins réunis

Google Street View (approximate).

The Musée des beaux-arts de Troyes (officially known as the musée Saint-Loup) is one of the two main art and archaeology museums in Troyes, France – the other is the Musée d’art moderne de Troyes. From 1831 it has been housed in the former Abbey of Saint Loup. It displays paintings of the fourteenth to nineteenth centuries (with strength in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries), a strong representation of local medieval sculpture as well as busts of Louis XIV and Marie-Thérèse by the locally born sculptor François Girardon, and furniture and decorative arts, together with some locally recovered Roman antiquities, most notably the Treasure of Pouan, the grave goods of a fifth-century Germanic warrior, and the Apollo of Vaupoisson, a fine Gallo-Roman bronze.

Near the cathedral, the former Saint-Loup abbey , founded at the beginning of the Middle Ages and rebuilt, houses the Museum of Fine Arts and Archeology. The revolutionary confiscations constitute the origin and the nucleus of the collections of the Museum of Fine Arts. They were brought together in two places: the Notre-Dame-aux-Nonnains abbey , today the Prefecture of the Aube, and the Saint-Loup abbey . Of the confiscations, the most important is undoubtedly that of the whole of the Chapelle-Godefroy which belonged to Philibert Orry (1689-1747), Controller General of Finance and Director of the King’s Buildings (Natoire, Boullogne, Desportes, Boucher, Castelli, Hubert Robert and Watteau). Other large residences have delivered essential works: the castle of Pont-sur-Seine (Bellotto, Champaigne), the castle of Saint-Liébault (busts of Girardon). At the same time, confiscations from religious communities enriched the collection with works for the most part, executed by Trojan artists of the 17th century (Jacques de Létin).

The idea of ​​opening the museum came back to the Academic Society of Aube . She worked on it from 1826 to 1831, the date of the official inauguration. She managed the establishment for more than a century, then, after the Second World War, she handed it over to the City of Troyes. In 1833, the first major donation to the museum was that of the Langres painter Dominique Morlot who bequeathed 46 paintings (Vernet, Allegrain, Tassel…). Other donations completed the collections: that of Joseph Audiffred (Rubens, Hudson), Charles des Guerrois , Albert Mérat , Madame Mitantier , the Sardin family and that of the Friends of museums which significantly enriched the collections (Lhomme, Picart, Baudesson, Mignard, van Lint, van Bijlert…). Finally, the museum benefits from prestigious deposits, in particular the Louvre museum (Mignard, Le Brun, Vasari).
Musees de Troyes (via Google Translate)

Troyes — Le Musée de Sculpture – Salle Simart
[The Museum of Sculpture – Simart Room]
Publisher: Front says Ch. Gris, Troyes; back says Simi-Bromure A. Breger freres, Paris

Troyes — Le Musée de Sculpture, Salle Simart
[The Museum of Sculpture, Simart Room]
Postmarked 1907
Publisher: ? Bertrand, Troyes

Armoury, Governor’s Palace, Valletta, Malta

The Armoury, Governor’s Palace.

Ever since its construction by the Order of St John [in the 16th century], this Palace was richly embellished with collections of works of art and heritage items, some of which still grace its walls. While some of these were purposely produced to form part of the historic fabric of the building, others were acquired, transferred or presented at different times throughout the chequered history of the Palace. Destined for grandiosity, right from its beginning, this Palace was one of the first buildings which were constructed at the heart of the new city of Valletta, founded by Grand Master Jean de Valette. Successive Grand Masters enlarged and developed this building to serve as their official residence. Later, during the British Period, it served as the Governor’s Palace, and was the seat of Malta’s first constitutional parliament in 1921.
Heritage Malta

The Palace Armoury is an arms collection housed at the Grandmaster’s Palace in Valletta, Malta. It was the main armoury of the Order of St. John in the 17th and 18th centuries, and as such it was the last arsenal established by a crusader military order.
. . .
In 1604, the Order’s arsenal was transferred to the Grandmaster’s Palace by Alof de Wignacourt, and was housed in a large hall at the rear of the building. At the time, it contained enough arms and armour for thousands of soldiers. The armoury was rearranged under Manuel Pinto da Fonseca’s magistracy in the 18th century. Parts of the armoury are believed to have been removed and shipped to France during the French occupation of Malta in 1798–1800, as part of “the organised robbery of art treasure and historic treasures” carried out by Napoleon. In the early 19th century, the armoury was altered by the British with the addition of Egyptian style column-like supports. These were removed and returned to England in 1855. In the late 1850s, the armoury was restored under the personal direction of Governor John Gaspard Le Marchant, and it opened to the public as a museum in 1860

Musée de Cluny, Cluny, Paris

Paris. — Musée de Cluny
On back: Chemiserie “E. Rames” / Trousseaux Pour Dames & Messieurs. / 55, Boulevard de Magents — Paris

Google Street View.

The Musée de Cluny, also known as Musée national du Moyen Âge – Thermes et hôtel de Cluny (“National Museum of the Middle Ages – Cluny thermal baths and mansion), is a museum of the Middle Ages in Paris, France. It is located in the Latin quarter in the 5th arrondissement of Paris at 6 Place Paul-Painlevé, south of the Boulevard Saint-Germain, between the Boulevard Saint-Michel and the Rue Saint-Jacques. The Hôtel de Cluny is partially constructed on the remnants of the third century Gallo-Roman baths known as the Thermes de Cluny, thermal baths from the Roman era of Gaul. The museum consists of two buildings: the frigidarium (“cooling room”), within the vestiges of the Thermes de Cluny, and the Hôtel de Cluny itself, which houses its collections.

The Musée de Cluny is an extremely valuable collection of medieval products of art and industry. As there are over 11,000 objects, one visit will hardly suffice for even a glance at the most important. . . . The entrance is at 24 Rue Du Sommerard. The court is enclosed by a battlemented wall. We enter by a large gate or by a postern, both adorned with tasteful sculptures. The main building and the wings have Gothic windows with stone mullions, an open-work parapet, and dormer-windows of delicate execution. In the centre of the facade rises a turret. The left wing has four large Gothic arcades. In the right wing is the entrance to the garden. The door of the museum is at the right angle of the main building.
[continues with room by room description]
Paris and environs, with routes from London to Paris : handbook for travellers, 1913, pp.280+

MUSEE DE CLUNY. — Salle des Émaux
(Room of Enamels)
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)

In the Middle Ages, enamelling was one of the main techniques used to decorate gold and silver work. Enamel consists of powdered glass, coloured using metal oxides (cobalt, copper, iron, etc.) and usually rendered opaque. Applied on top of metal (gold, silver or copper), it becomes liquid when fired and solidifies onto the metal when it cools down. Either opaque or translucent, enamels, which were an ideal tool for decoration or narration, were extraordinarily popular in the Middle Ages, due to their brilliance and colours. Almost all enamelling techniques were invented or developed in medieval times.
Musee de Cluny: Enamels in the Middle Ages (pdf)

Musee de CLUNY – Grille de clôture de l’église d’Augerolles, Puy-de-Dôme, commencement du XVIme siècle
(Enclosure from church of Augerolles, Puy-de-Dôme, 16th century)
Publisher: Levy Sons & Co. (1895-1919)

The furniture of the Middle Ages must be divided under two different heads; the most important examples are evidently those for religious use. . . . We shall dwell but little, however, on this branch of furniture, which diverges slightly from the special object of this study; it will be sufficient for us to point out the types in our museums which exhibit its characteristics. First of all we shall mention the sumptuous sacristy “dressoir,” or sideboard, preserved at Cluny, taken from the church of Saint Pol-de-L6on. . . . A no less important piece of the same period is the carved woodwork grating forming the enclosure of one of the chapels of the church of Augerolles (Puy-de-Dôme).
History of Furniture, 1878, image 44

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Deutsches Museum, Munich, Germany

Halle Flugwesen
(Aviation Hall)
Publisher: Jospeht Lindauersche Universitätsbuchhandlung (Schöpping)
(Joseph Lindauersche University Bookstore (?))
On back: Offizielle Postkarte des Deutschen Museums, München
(Official Postcard of the Deutsches Museum, Munich)


The Deutsches Museum (German Museum, officially Deutsches Museum von Meisterwerken der Naturwissenschaft und Technik (English: German Museum of Masterpieces of Science and Technology)) in Munich, Germany, is the world’s largest museum of science and technology, with about 28,000 exhibited objects from 50 fields of science and technology. It receives about 1.5 million visitors per year. The museum was founded on 28 June 1903, at a meeting of the Association of German Engineers (VDI) as an initiative of Oskar von Miller.

Bargello, Florence

FIRENSE – Cortile e scala del Bargello
Bargello courtyard & staircase

Official Website

The Bargello, also known as the Palazzo del Bargello, Museo Nazionale del Bargello, or Palazzo del Popolo (Palace of the People), is a former barracks and prison, now an art museum, in Florence, Italy. . . . The word bargello appears to come from the late Latin bargillus (from Gothic bargi and German burg), meaning “castle” or “fortified tower”. During the Italian Middle Ages it was the name given to a military captain in charge of keeping peace and justice (hence “Captain of justice”) during riots and uproars. In Florence he was usually hired from a foreign city to prevent any appearance of favoritism on the part of the Captain. The position could be compared with that of a current Chief of police. The name Bargello was extended to the building which was the office of the captain.
. . .
Construction began in 1255. The palace was built to house first the Capitano del Popolo and later, in 1261, the ‘podestà’, the highest magistrate of the Florence City Council. This Palazzo del Podestà, as it was originally called, is the oldest public building in Florence. This austere crenellated building served as model for the construction of the Palazzo Vecchio. In 1574, the Medici dispensed with the function of the Podestà and housed the bargello, the police chief of Florence, in this building, hence its name. It was employed as a prison; executions took place in the Bargello’s yard until they were abolished by Grand Duke Peter Leopold in 1786, but it remained the headquarters of the Florentine police until 1859. When Leopold II, Holy Roman Emperor Peter Leopold was exiled, the makeshift Governor of Tuscany decided that the Bargello should no longer be a jail, and it then became a national museum.


The word “bargello” appears to derive from the late latin noun bargillus, meaning “castle” or “fortified tower“. Bargello was the title attributed to a military captain, precisely the “Captain of justice”, who from 1554, under Duke Cosimo I, made arrests, conducted interrogations, and carried out death sentences.

The Bargello was used as a prison until 1786, when the Grand Duke Pietro Leopoldo abolished capital punishment. Consequently, from this time on, the Bargello no longer held executions. The Bargello next served as the headquarters of the Florentine police until 1859. When Pietro Leopoldo II was exiled, the makeshift Governor of Tuscany decided that the Bargello should no longer be a jail, thereby becoming a national museum. Construction of the palace began in 1255 when Lapo Tedesco, an Italian architect of the XIII century, incorporated the old palace, the tower of Boscoli, the property of an ancient Florentine family, as well as certain houses and towers belonging to the Badia Fiorentina. Subsequently, the palace was merged with a new building on Via dell’Acqua, and in 1295, its arcaded courtyard was created. Between 1340 and 1345, the famous Italian architect Neri di Fioravante added another story to the building. The Bargello was designed around an open courtyard with an external staircase leading to the second floor. An open well is located in the center of the courtyard.
Florence Inferno

The National Museum has its setting in one of the oldest buildings in Florence that dates back to 1255. Initially the headquarters of the Capitano del Popolo (Captain of the People) and later of the Podestà, the palace became, in the sixteenth century, the residence of the Bargello that is of the head of the police (from which the palace takes its name) and was used as prison during the whole 18th century. Its walls witnessed important episodes of civic history. It was the meeting place of the Council of the Hundred in which Dante took part. It wituessed sieges, fires, executions, the most famous perhaps being that of Baroncelli, involved in the Pazzi plot against the Medici, which Leonardo also witnessed. During the 14th and 15th century, the palace was subjected to a series of alterations and additions, still preserving its harmonious severity, best seen in the beautiful courtyard, the balcony and the large hall on the first floor.

The building’s use as National Museum began in the mid-19th century. Today it is the setting for works of sculpture, mainly from the grand ducal colleotions, and for many examples of “minor” Gothic decorative arts.
Museums in Florence

The entrance of the museum gives access to the inner courtyard, where criminals were executed until 1786. The walls are decorated with coats of arms representing high ranking officials and city districts. . . . The staircase on the inner court leads to an arcaded gallery known as the Verone, where you’ll encounter a number of marble sculptures by GiamBologna, a Flemish artist who worked in Florence for most of his life.
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